Fake news

Outlaw or ignore? How Asia is fighting 'fake news'

US President Donald Trump decries it every time he sees a critical article, the Pope has condemned it and governments are fretting about its influence, holding parliamentary hearings.

And now Malaysia has passed a law criminalising it, with a penalty of up to six years in jail. Yet no-one has defined what it is.

The term first came to prominence during the 2016 US presidential election campaign. But the problem of deliberately falsified news articles, masquerading as properly-researched journalism, goes back centuries.

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Ronaldo slams 'fake news'

The 33-year-old was accused last year of evading €14.7million in taxes relating to his image rights between 2011 and 2014.

According to reports in Spain on Monday, Ronaldo's legal team made a settlement offer of €3.8m, plus admission of wrongdoing, which was rejected by the country's tax authorities.

The Portugal international appeared in court last year to respond to the allegations, insisting "I always pay what I have to pay; I do things the right way and I will continue to do so". His representatives, Gestifute, have also persistently denied any wrongdoing.

Bible serpent was first 'fake news' - Pope

The episode showed the "dire consequences" that fake news can have, the Pope warned in a document.

Pope Francis also said it led only to the spread of arrogance and hatred.

Social media users and journalists should unmask manipulative tactics that foment division, he said.

The document The Truth Will Set You Free - Fake News and Journalism for Peace was issued ahead of the Catholic Church's World Communications Day on 13 May, and it was the first time the Pope has written on the topic.

Dow Jones: 'Google acquires Apple' news was 'error'

But the story, that the acquisition had been suggested in the will of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, was bogus.

It was removed after two minutes, though Apple's shares did briefly rise in value.

Dow Jones said the news appeared as the result of a "technical error" and should be ignored.

The unintentionally published fake news described the acquisition as "a surprise move to everyone who is alive" and quoted Google employees as saying "Yay".

It also stated that Google would move into "Apple's fancy headquarters".

Google’s new ‘Fake News Fighting Tool’ launches globally

Google is rolling out their new feature called Fact Check.

Fact Check is designed similar to the fake news fighting tool recently announced by Facebook. Google owns one of the biggest news consumption platforms in the world, and the company says the fact checks are “presented so people can make more informed judgments.”

Facebook to tackle fake news with educational campaign

For three days, an ad will appear at the top of users' news feeds linking to advice on "how to spot fake news" and report it.

The campaign, which will be promoted in 14 countries, is "designed to help people become more discerning readers", the social media firm said.

But experts questioned whether the measure would have any real impact.

"Until Facebook stops rewarding the architects of fake news with huge traffic, this problem will just get worse," Tom Felle, a lecturer in digital journalism at City University told the BBC.

New Facebook tool tags fake news

Facebook has now started testing a fake news killer tool that they announced earlier in December, the Guardian reports. The tool shows a warning message when a user tries to share a spurious link.

A glimpse of Facebook’s fact-checking tool shows a Newport Buzz story “The Irish Slave Trade – The Slaves That Time Forgot” marked as ‘disputed by Snopes.com and Associated Press’. It alerts the user about the authenticity of the news content.

Tech Tent: Fake ads, fake news and real voice tech

But now the two web giants are under pressure over another kind of fakery - fake advertising.

On this week's Tech Tent we hear about the advertising industry's mounting anger over a problem that is damaging its credibility with its clients. When advertising began to move online, there was the promise of much better targeting and much more accurate measurement of how well a marketing message performed.

Instead all sorts of issues, from bots that generate phony views of ads to the placing of advertisements next to unsuitable content, have shaken confidence in the industry.

Germany warns social media firms over illegal content

Germany's justice minister has drafted a law that seeks to impose the fines as part of efforts to police toxic chat.

Heiko Maas said the voluntary efforts of social networks to tackle the problem had not gone far enough.

The proposal requires sites to run 24-hour helplines and to delete flagged content within seven days.

'Utterly impossible'

Social media firms such as Twitter and Facebook were getting better at handling illegal content, said Mr Maas, but both had a long way to go.

The corpse factory and the birth of fake news

Fake news, false stories that masquerade as real news are not new.

In the spring of 1917 some of Britain's most influential newspapers published a gruesome story that has been called "the master hoax" - and I think we finally have proof about where it came from.

Britain was at the time trying to bring China into the war on the Allied side.

In February a story appeared in the English-language North China Daily News that claimed the Kaiser's forces were "extracting glycerine out of dead soldiers".

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